The Kulturkita Hessen programme helps anchor cultural education and participation in nurseries and daycare centres at a structural level via a wide range of cooperative ventures, qualification schemes and networking strategies. This takes a step towards systematically implementing children’s right to participate and engage in cultural life and the arts, as defined by the United Nations.

©DKJS/Lichtbildwerkstatt Aurich


©DKJS/Lichtbildwerkstatt Aurich

That children attending daycare facilities (known as Kitas) in the state of Hesse receive unlimited opportunities for cultural education and participation.

Empowering daycare facilities as settings for and the birthplace of cultural education. 

For whom
The programme is aimed at the staff of daycare facilities, at artists and art educators, and at educational and cultural institutions in Hesse. 

First phase of funding

Cultural education empowering children

Exploring, discovering, experiencing: cultural education gives children access to exciting opportunities where they can learn and experience things, offering them a wide range of playful options for developing the way they perceive and express the world. The aim is to enhance their personal development, their self-confidence and their skills, but over and above that, cultural education allows them to join in and creates space for new experiences, for dialogue, and for mutual understanding.

The German Children and Youth Foundation (Deutsche Kinder- und Jugendstiftung, DKJS) has now set up the Kulturkita Hessen programme in order to consolidate daycare facilities as the settings for and birthplaces of cultural education and participation. In October 2023 it launched the pilot phase with ten Hesse facilities, initiated and funded by the Crespo Foundation.

Cultural education activities, consultancy and networking 

Kulturkita Hessen is active in three separate areas. The programme supports a wide range of cultural events and activities in and beyond the daycare facility, sets up consultancy services and qualification schemes in connection with early childhood learning, undertakes pedagogical work with children in daycare, and offers professional events on learning in practice, networking and knowledge transfer. 

The programme was developed via a multi-perspectival dialogue with regional and national experts in Germany. It reacts to the excessive strains in the daycare system by taking a multi-professional, networked approach with the focus on processes and needs.


Kulturkita Hessen is a DKJS programme that has been initiated and funded by the Crespo Foundation. It operates in partnership with the Hessisches Ministerium für Soziales und Integration (Hesse Ministry for Social Affairs and Integration) and the Netzwerk Frühkindliche Kulturelle Bildung (Network for Early Childhood Cultural Education). 

The programme is being implemented in cooperation with several partners: DFF – Deutsches Filminstitut & Filmmuseum and the Sozialpädagogische Verein zur familienergänzenden Erziehung e. V. (Socio-Educational Association for Extrafamilial Education)



Hanna Knell
Crespo Foundation
Project consultant for culture and education


Dr. Caroline Heuer
German Children and Youth Foundation (DKJS)
Programme director